Confessions of a Liberal: I Need Conservatives



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Liberty vs License

Right on Skipper and Betsy. Not so “right on” Christy and George. I have a standard response to the conservative/liberal dilemma: Conserve those things which God wants to conserve and be liberated from those things from which God wants you to be liberated. How can you know which is which? I would argue that the answers are found in God’s Word as found in the Biblical narrative, not by my wisdom or feelings.

Scott S more than 2 years ago

The writer starts with a false premise...

That "liberal" and "conservative" are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive opposites. They are not. Indeed some of the most conservative people I know are liberals and vice versa.

No, the problem is, reasonable people of both a liberal and conservative bent are beset on all sides by extremists practicing what the (conservative) historian Richard Hofstader called "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Hofstader was originally referring to The John Birch Society and related satrapies, from which The Religious Right movement sprang. The Institute for Religion and Democracy, a right-wing outfit which certainly does not follow honesty in naming itself, is itself a creation of said extremist paranoia. The movement for right-wing suzerainiety within United Methodism is merely more of the same.

That this extremism is obsessed with sex is an understatement. A fictionalized version appeared in the 1964 movie " Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" in form of George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson who was obsessed with retaining his precious body fluids. Turgidson was a fictionalized version of Birchite organizers who roamed from town to town in the 1950s and 1960s stirring up paranoia. I saw it in the form of some formerly uncommitted Walk to Emmaus marchers who went on a paranoid rant about LGBT Clergy and same sex marriage in the California-Pacific Conference and threatened Bishop Mary Anne Swenson with their mansplaining.

The choice is not between liberal and conservative, but between reasonable people who accept reality and the paranoid.

George Nixon Shuler more than 2 years ago

Blind Toleration

Jesus rolled up the scroll and the people began to murmur because “Today the scripture has been fulfilled” means he just said that He was God. They could not bring themselves to believe that. Just like today's Progressives can't bring themselves to believe same-sex relationships are evil. They are proud of their toleration like the Corinthians (Chap. 5). They underestimate what evil does to our relationship with God.

Bonhoeffer said “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.” We can't sit there and let these people tolerate life destroying evil. Jesus said “Repent” and that means to turn around. Not just be sorry, but turn from your sin. Those not willing should evaluate the condition of their soul and need for a Savior. A Loving Father (and the slippery slope Jesus referred to) are waiting.

Skipper more than 2 years ago

Where the UMC falls short

Contrary to current belief, John Wesley's understanding of the catholic spirit and the person who is truly of the catholic spirit allows for different Christian tribes with their own unique beliefs. It is these different tribes/churches who collectively form the holy catholic/universal Church because we all have some historic beliefs about God and us in common. Beyond those common beliefs, we all branch off into our own unique understanding of how those beliefs impact our lives and how the church should function. The American UMC has collectively lost sight of the reality that it is supposed to be its own unique part of the holy catholic/universal Church. The American UMC has lost sight that it is supposed to be making its own unique contribution to the Christian landscape while holding some historic beliefs about God and us in common with the rest of the holy catholic/universal Church. John Wesley never envisioned Methodism to be all things to all people. If he had he would not have written such a detailed account of what makes a person a Methodist.

betsy more than 2 years ago